New Governance Lab - About


Our name

The New Governance Lab is purposefully named. “New” is our fundamental mindset — we seek to question the status quo and explore new forms of organizations and governance within Arizona State University, the “New” American University. 

“Governance” refers to the art and science of overseeing the control and direction of for-profit companies. We study topics such as top management teams — including composition, evaluation, succession, compensation, boards of directors; advisory boards — including composition, evaluation, compensation, structure, design, and strategic outcomes; owners — including shareholders, institutional investors, hedge-fund activists, and their intermediaries (analysts and the media); stakeholders — including employees, customers, suppliers, local communities, and the natural environment; and ESG — which is Environment, Society and Government/Governance. 

“Lab” indicates that we are a place for innovation, discovery, mistakes, learning, and a place to create the future that we want. 

Our approach

The New Governance Lab tackles big issues. We challenge existing “ratings” of public company governance by moving beyond policy and proclamations to provide a nuanced understanding of the right forms of governance at the right time, given the context and strategic goals of the organization. We ask important questions about the role of owners, everything from the motives and impact of hedge-fund and other activists to the lack of access provided to underrepresented investors.

We aim to be the frontrunner in the creation and dissemination of critically important ESG (environment, society, governance) knowledge. The New Governance Lab at ASU will prioritize and support collaborative research that informs best practices in the areas of environmental stewardship and resource management, social trends, standards and metrics, and the creation of new knowledge in corporate governance. We recognize ESG as an important driver of corporate success which impacts strategy and trends in every arena.  

We will also focus on tackling big issues in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, and examine how corporations can signal commitment to DEI through their top executive teams and boards of directors. Modern societal issues are pushing us toward advances in corporate diversity and at the New Governance Lab we take the discussion further.

Our goal is to take discovery out of the theoretical realm and to apply emerging new ideas to practice in ways that will ultimately make governance better. Rather than taking a one-size-fits all approach to governance, the New Governance Lab hopes to shine a light on nuance and look at the tough questions that will help us understand what is important to a particular industry or a particular type of firm. We seek to provide insights that will make a direct difference to a firm’s performance as measured not only by stock performance, but employee loyalty, net promoter scores, customer retention and loyalty and community support. 

Leveraging our place

The New Governance Lab is perfectly positioned to achieve its goals within Arizona State University, which was named the nation’s most innovative university for the 8th consecutive year in 2022. The university’s culture of innovation is embedded in everything we do.

The New Governance Lab is privileged to be hosted by the W. P. Carey school of Business, which comprises over 300 faculty members, 18,000 students, and an alumni community of 120,000+ individuals worldwide. Importantly, the W. P. Carey School is home to more faculty doing research on corporate governance than almost any other university in the world and is proud to conduct business through institutional partnerships in countries around the globe.

We share the school’s vision of “transforming the world through access, excellence, and innovation in business knowledge,” and we embrace the core tenets of the school, including pushing frontiers of research, cross-discipline collaboration, and active engagement with global and local communities. We maintain a Business is Personal mindset that carries ESG and DEI values at the heart of everything we do.

The W. P. Carey School partners with some of the leading researchers and institutions, including higher education, stock exchanges, and regulatory agencies — all of which will help inform and contribute to the New Governance Lab’s objective offerings. With roots in our local and national business communities and institutional partnerships among the most well-respected corporations and higher education institutions in the world, we have a deep well to draw from for our research and offerings.

Consumers, stakeholders, and partners will be able to rely on the New Governance Lab’s expertise and offerings to help them make informed decisions about corporate governance systems and up-to-date investment decision-making processes.